Legislature dropped the ball on oversight of Passport, lawmaker says

12/16/2010 07:24 PM

Democratic state Sen. Tim Shaughnessy of Louisville — the lawmaker who first asked for a state audit of the Passport Health Plan — said the legislature should have kept better tabs on that program.

“We have a constitutional responsibility for oversight, and we did not excercise that,” Shaughnessy said on Pure Politics Thursday night.

The Passport program covers health care for 164,000 poor and disabled Kentuckians in Louisville and the 15 surrounding counties. It was set up by three hospital entities in 1997 as a managed care entity that provided Medicaid services for the state. It is the largest contractor with the state government with a nearly $800 million contract.

And this fall, a state audit showed excessive spending on lobbying and travel, conflicts of interest and questionable payments of millions of dollars back to the founding entities, Jewish Hospital Healthcare, the University of Louisville and Norton Healthcare.

Shaughnessy had particularly strong words about the University of Louisville.

Here’s the interview:

- Ryan Alessi

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